Effectively messaging your brand to the marketplace to enhance sell through of a product is often a trial and error process. At Avoca we don’t believe this should be the accepted practice. We believe with proper planning and engagement we can deliver a precise message through our offerings of digital goods.
It is this critical thinking that brought ABInBev to Avoca to execute one of the biggest promotional consumer offers in the company's history. It is also why they trusted Avoca with their most esteemed brand, Budweiser.
The scope of the project on paper was simple. How does Labatt remove its quality brand from the frenetic in box offer of hats, shirts, and minimum value, low impact items? The new offer to the customer should be a unique out of beer box experience! Of course, Budweiser alone and its taste justify the purchase of a box of beer. Responsible drinkers have known this for years in the pursuit of a perfect bottle pour and taste quencher. However, in today’s times and in the competitive world of beer brands the label needs to be a stand out eye catcher on and off the shelf.
The backstory goes that in 2008, Avoca presented a unique opportunity to Labatt. It was akin to a test market offer to a smaller, more cult like follower of beer in the hinterlands and mountains of Canada’s landscape. With over 180,000 units shipped the brand sell-through was guaranteed and with Labatt’s addition of an MTV offer it meant the value to the customer was enhanced with content. The Kokannee branded USB Snowboard in box offer was born and became a roaring success. Avoca’s success and team effort delivered as promised where other very large and well known FLASH memory producers could not. For Avoca, the relationships with various suppliers out of Asia made it all work. They were easily able to handle the volume but even a brand such as Kokanee meant casings and designs would come under intense scrutiny. Several trips abroad for oversight and management at the FLASH fabrication plant were required. A testament to project management from the team at Avoca.
From there Avoca went on to build USB guitar picks for Big Rock Breweries offering even more value in a FLASH device as the Big Rock Branded music label adopted a meaningful and better way to get great music to its valued customer base. With 30,000 USB guitar picks in the market the brand succeeded in pushing great music in a more effective communication vehicle other than the CD.
Further refinements to the USB Drive as a marketing vehicle took the shape and form of beer openers and assorted key chains. The effort around what Avoca was now calling the Connected USB Drive resulted in answering a call to help RIM and TELUS build real-time and updatable USB Product Catalogues. Avoca had successfully crossed over into other verticals and were ready for the harder, bigger questions. How to make this even more engaging, offer more value with content, and make it even more social? Certainly all of this experience in designing, building, testing and asking these questions were imminently about to transpire into the biggest build of Avoca’s short but highly successful period of existence. The team knew there was something on the horizon. Or possibly the puck was about to drop?
Enter ABInBev and the NHL. Having had successful dealings with the Avoca team for Kokanee the idea of doing a USB offer with the NHL had been in the background for quite a number of months. Further, having worked with the Avoca team on those previous projects they knew they had a quality partner to pull off whatever was deemed the highest value to the customer and to honour the Budweiser brand as well as the NHL and its franchises. What every knew is that it could not be a shirt of hat and that the team at Avoca could be the only ones selected to pull off a new and innovative offer.
Complicating matters was that outside the Budweiser brand do’s and don’ts the other, and at times more critical brand, would become the NHL. The brand and game needed to be treated with the highest regard for any consumer offer. At times it seemed the offer might not happen because of logistic complications and the volume of product required to make the offer real. From Avoca’s standpoint 30K and 180,000K units are not overly complicated. The NHL/Bud offer needed to be at minimum 1 million units of FLASH and the quality across all individual shell casings needed to be perfect each time! After all, this was the biggest symbol and icon in Canadian sport. The Stanley Cup.
With initial meetings and scoping sessions the Avoca team set to work. With countless flights to Asia, numerous reworks on moulds and development code the USB devices were made. The Stanley Cup, in all its silver glory, replicated to the exact iconic proportions that gets hoisted each and every year by the NHL’s most winningest team. For logos and emblems the ever critical NHL were so pleased that for the first time all were approved on first run proofs. Yet another accolade to Avoca’s attention to detail. And in terms of socializing what is on the device the Budweiser team and ad agency took its cue from Avoca leveraging a serialized script off the USB to then allow users access to high values pages within Facebook!